Teen tech behavior sets the blogosphere atwitter

The blogosphere has been buzzing after august investment house Morgan Stanley published a research report by a 15-year old intern citing anecdotal evidence collected from his teenage friends. Morgan claimed this report drew a huge response from its institutional investor clients who clamored to talk about the findings.

The blogosphere quickly glommed onto the reports' assertion that teens don't like Twitter. TechCrunch enlisted its own 16-year old to write a piece heartily supporting the Morgan Stanley report even as research shop Sysomos published its own findings that teens likely do tweet a lot, based on an index of 11 million Twitter users; the report estimated that 65 percent of those users were under 24 years of age.

The blog giants chose not to quibble with the Morgan Stanley report's conclusion that teens prefer to steal music and always will. Yet this assertion seems to directly contradict recent findings (ironically, listed immediately above the "Do Teens Tweet?" dust up on Techmeme when both were hot items) showing that illegal downloads off file sharing networks are collapsing as more and more music and videos are freely or cheaply streamed via broadband connections.

And the Morgan Stanley intern seems to be directly contradicting the teenage analysts employed by popular venture capital firm Fred Wilson (those being his children) who, according to Fred, have stopped downloading pirated movies and TV shows from BitTorrent because the downloads take too long compared to legally streamed content off sites like Hulu or YouTube. (Wilson even titled the post, "Streaming Kills Piracy).

The moral of all this back-and-forth? First, institutional investors have no clue what is going on inside teenagers' heads and lives. Thus, the huge response for a well-written but incredibly unscientific report. Second, Morgan Stanley and Fred Wilson ought to get their teenage research analyst teams together to hash out some sort of middle ground. Third, any truly definitive statement by the media on what's going on inside the mind's of teenagers is categorically flawed -- always has been, always will be.

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